Thursday, December 26, 2013

Friday, December 20

Today we had to wake up early to get on the road to Vina del Mar, where Katie’s family had invited me to spend the weekend with them. We packed up and ate a quick breakfast, then got on the road for a 3 hour car ride. Katie and I decided to speak Spanish together during the trip, so we talked the whole time on the road in Spanish. When we got to Vina in the afternoon, the whole family was starving, so we threw our stuff in the hotel (Katie and I had our own room), and then went to eat lunch in this restaurant on the water in a nearby town called Renaca. We ordered a bunch of plates of seafood for us all to share. I was really proud of my bravery because I tried octopus, mussels, crab, and all the things I usually get grossed out by when my dad orders them in Mexico. After lunch, we drove around through ConCon, another nearby beach town, and we rolled down the windows and sang Spanish songs all together in loud voices. It was a great time. Then we parked the car and walked along the beach in Renaca and drank smoothies. Then we went over to a park called the Quinta Vergara, where they have this giant concert stadium for the Vina music festival. We walked around the park and the stadium for a while then went to the famous Vina flower clock to take the obligatory tourist picture. Later, we went to an artisan fair and looked at the crafts for a while. We met a woman selling her woodwork there who was from California and had been living in Chile for 25 years. It was really interesting to think about how much her life had changed from CA to Chile, and interesting to think of how my life has kind of changed in the same way. After, we went into the center of town (after the obligatory stop at Starbucks obviously) and Katie, me, and her 2 brothers rode around the city and alongside the ocean in one of those horse drawn carriages called Victorias. It was a very cool experience. By that time it was dark outside, and we went to an outdoor fair along the boardwalk where we ate churros filled with manjar and bought Vina souvenirs and Katie and I got these cute braids in our hair with shells. We were wearing shorts and freezing cold, so we booked it over to this Mexican restaurant nearby to eat dinner (first guacamole I’ve had in almost 5 months). Then we all went back to our rooms in the hotel to sleep because we had a big day tomorrow. Katie and I looked out our window and found that there was like this roof thing and so obviously we had to climb out and sit with our feet dangling over the edge of the hotel and look at the people walking on the sidewalk below. We talked about how much we love to travel and how much we want to travel all through Chile, and we made a pact to plan a trip together. I hope it actually works out and our parents let us backpack alone for a little while in the summer. We were so excited about planning our future trips that we didn’t get to bed until like 1. 

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